Neighbourhood officers determined to drive down thefts
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Sergeant Ian Johnson, Inspector Gordon Fenwick, and Sergeant Darran Owen, of the city west neighbourhood policing team
A crime-fighting team has vowed to carry on targeting thieves after seeing some great results across their communities.
Shop theft reports across Aspley and Bilborough have dropped by more than 80 per cent over the last three months.
That’s since the city west neighbourhood policing team and its partners selected stopping shoplifters as an area for them to concentrate on.
Cracking down on shop thefts was chosen as the policing priority for the Aspley and Bilborough areas at the beginning of October 20, following a local priority setting meeting.
Since then, city west officers have been working closer with stores to review CCTV and collect the evidence needed to quickly identify offenders.
This approach has started to bear fruit over the last few months, with multiple repeat offenders being charged and brought before the courts as a result.
Sergeant Ian Johnson, of Nottinghamshire Police's city west team, said: “As a neighbourhood policing team, we regularly work with our partners and local stakeholders to identify a specific policing priority for us to concentrate on.
“For the last three months, reducing shop thefts has been a priority area for Aspley and Bilborough, so we’ve been dedicating extra time and resources to cracking down on shoplifters.
“As part of this, we’ve worked closer with stores to try and quickly identify who these thieves are, with many of these incidents usually revolving around a small number of the same offenders.
“We’re really pleased to see that this work has resulted in a big reduction in shoplifting in these areas, with further action being taken with many suspects, in the form of charges and trips to court.
“The last few months have provided a great example of the importance of neighbourhood policing, with our team listening to the public’s concerns, taking action and helping reduce this type of criminality as a result.”
After overseeing a drop in reported shoplifting offences – from 23 in October to four throughout December – Sgt Johnson’s team again recently met up with partners and together set up a new policing priority for the next three months.
The officers will next focus on trying to reduce theft from motor vehicles in Leen Valley, Aspley and Bilborough, following a recent steady increase in this type of offending across the areas.
From stepping up patrols of locations targeted by thieves, to engaging with the public more to educate them about ways to keep their vehicles secure, the team will use a combination of tactics to try and drive down thefts.
While the aim going forward may be to reduce offending across the new priority area, Sgt Johnson also insisted his team wouldn’t let up in their efforts to stop shoplifting rates creeping back up too.
He added: “It’s important that people know that we’re not now going to abandon all things relating to shop thefts, just because we have a new policing priority for Aspley and Bilborough – that’s certainly not the case.
“We will obviously continue to deal with these offences when they’re reported to us, but will now also dedicate more of our time and resources towards trying to stop a recent increase in incidents of vehicles being broken into.
“From experience, there will probably be a small number of people who are behind the majority of these thefts, so we’re committed to doing whatever we can to quickly identify these suspects and bring them to justice.”
Nottinghamshire Police is focusing on the work carried out by police in the community this week as part of neighbourhood policing week of action, which runs from 22 January to 28 January.